Happy, Healthy Weekend Ideas

Wondering what to do this weekend?

The summer’s here but not forever! It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our routines and day-to-day living that the season can come and pass before we even realize it. For my part, I often forego the seasonal niceties like weekend trips upstate or to the Hamptons that my friends and clients enjoy. It’s a part of my profession that I gladly accept in order to thrive in a field I love. Weekends are work days for busy brokers!

I cherish this time of year because it gives me plenty of opportunities to bond with my (now 13-year-old) son, Jack. These outings with him are the moments I work so hard to get to enjoy, so I take them seriously.

Whether your weekend is the standard Saturday/Sunday affair or if it lands on the occasional Tuesday (like mine sometimes does), here are a few great tips for outings with the kids!


The Boat Basin Cafe (Hudson River Park @ 79th Street)

Family-friendly atmosphere with great food everyone will love! Great views of the Hudson River and the Park surrounding the restaurant!

The Boat Basin Cafe is built into the 79th Street entrance to Hudson River Park and historic Riverside Park, both of which are destinations in themselves. Its mostly-outdoor setting is wonderful on sunny days, especially with the gentle breeze from the Hudson River. This UWS gem is great for families with children, and is also pooch-friendly so bring your dog!


Manhattan Community Boathouse (Hudson River Park @ 72nd Street or at 56th Street)

Cool down and get adventurous with free kayaking on the Hudson River!

The water quality of the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers has improved dramatically from how it used to be years ago.

"Today, the Hudson's waters flow cleaner than they have in decades and the Hudson is considered one of the healthiest estuaries on the Atlantic Coast. Its rich history and striking environmental recovery have made it one of the nation's fourteen American Heritage Rivers. Years of hard work by dedicated scientists, politicians, and river-lovers have opened the Hudson's shores to swimming, fishing, and boating. Revitalized public beaches, boat launches, parks, and angling spots dot the Hudson's shores.” - NYC Swim

Sharing a kayak is a great bonding experience, not to mention great exercise.

Manhattan Community Boathouse’s 72nd Street location is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm. At 56th Street (Pier 96), They are open Monday-Wednesday from 5:30pm-7:30pm and Saturday-Sunday from 10am-6pm.


Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park (59th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues)

Rides and games the whole family can enjoy! This miniature carnival in Central Park runs until September 13th, and it’s an easy walk from your favorite 59th Street subway station.

This is also a great place for children’s birthday parties, and has a cafe attached for bathrooms and refreshments.


When you've tired of popcorn and cotton candy and need a break from the heat- head across the street to the Plaza Food Hall in the basement of the Plaza Hotel (a la Harrods.). Kids will love the self-serve frozen yogurt bar and adults will have a blast touring the hall's nine stations that range from the Chi Noodle bar- to Sabi Sushi to Vive le Crepe to my favorite: the Lady M Cake Emporium. For the adults, Todd English's eponymous station is a full service restaurant that offers an incredible variety of the sophisticated American cuisine that's become his trademark.


The Collectivity Project (On the High Line at West 30th Street)

Build towering skyscrapers out of Legos on the High Line! This could be my favorite gem I’ve picked up recently.

If you haven’t been to the High Line Park yet, it’s definitely worth a visit. Over the last few years the City has transformed an old elevated train track into a family-friendly park that stretches from Gansevoort Street in the south (a few blocks beneath 14th Street, and home of the new Whitney Museum) to 34th Street in the north, ending outside the Javits Center.

According to their website, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson created this project as an installation of white LEGO bricks that features an imaginary cityscape conceived and designed by the public.


AMC Empire 25 and Dave and Buster's (42nd Street Between 7th and 8th Avenues)

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Kids hot and cranky in the heat? Treat them to the movie theater to beat all move theaters - the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. An icy cool oasis that shows all first run features and even features an IMAX. Very cleverly, the multi-story escalator descent after your cinematic summer escape passes through kid-favorite Dave and Buster's gaming arcade.

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Plug your ears up with ear plugs; hand your kids an insane amount of money, and let them run around like banshees playing the latest video parent nightmares. I hosted two of Jack's favorite birthday parties at Dave and Busters that he still raves about.


What are some of your favorite weekend/day-off destinations for this kids this summer? Leave a comment on here or Tweet to me @mikelubin to let me know!